Sixty-five years ago today, while on a thirty-day leave from his duties as a flyboy in the war effort, Army Air Force Lieutenant Robert James Andrews married his sweetheart Joan Shumaker on the day before her eighteenth birthday. He was sick that day and there weren't many men at the wedding with so many overseas, but judging by their smiles you would never know it was anything other than a perfect happily ever after.
My grandmother tells the story of how they squeezed into a single berth together on the train to Chicago on their wedding night as she tagged along with him on his next assignment - a good will tour of US bases. The war wouldn't last much longer, but their marriage would.
Sixty-five years. The number is mind-boggling. And they are still happy together. He still teases her and she still blushes. Two children, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and sixty-five years... and she is still his sweetheart.
I've learned a lot about happily ever afters from the examples in my family. I know I'm lucky to have them in my life.
So here's to Joan & Bob, always. Happy Sixty-Fifth Anniversary, Grandma & Grandpa!
And in honor of love and laughter that lasts a lifetime, I'm giving away a signed print copy of the Tickle My Fantasy anthology to one lucky commenter today. Tell me about the real life happily ever afters in your life, or just join me in wishing my grandparents the best of all possible days. (Yes, they have been known to read my blog.)